Assignment Instructions
Case Study #2
Mark, 29 years old, and Ellen, 27 years old, have been married for 2 years. When they first met, he treated her like a queen. He was kind and loving and “idolized” her. He would show glimpses of jealousy and controlling behavior, but she did not pay much attention to it. After they got married, his jealousy and controlling behavior grew worse. He treated her wonderfully when she was with him at home and engaging in behavior that made him feel loved and needed. However, he was controlling whenever she left the house to run errands or see her friends. When she returned home, he would question her in passive-aggressive ways and sometimes be outright accusatory. She would naturally become defensive and withdraw emotionally. That seemed to make things worse, and he would start to become verbally abusive about her not meeting his needs, not loving him, and not wanting to be with him. These verbal explosions were often accompanied by demeaning language. After these outbursts, Ellen felt like leaving him and even expressed this at times. Most of the time Mark would apologize profusely, then bring her flowers or gifts and rationalize his behavior in some way or promise he would change. Things would then get better for a while, and he would engage in “idolizing” behavior. However, the cycle of controlling behavior would just begin again.
Identify the case study you selected.
Explain what features of borderline personality disorder the primary character exhibits. Explain how the concept of splitting is demonstrated, and describe the role that empathy plays in the splitting.
Explain challenges a forensic psychology professional might have when working with individuals with borderline personality disorder.
Ackley, C., Mack, S., Beyer, K., & Erdberg, P. (2010). Investigative and forensic interviewing: A personality-focused approach. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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